June 2012

Lucky Palms: On Sale Now

I finally got around to buying Lunar Lakes (which I am really enjoying) and now here comes a new world already! Lucky Palms is a desert world which is dotted with oases, loosely built around the same concept as Palm Springs. Lucky Palms is currently on sale through 7/12/12, so even if you aren't ready to play it yet, if you think you might be interested, you should buy and download it now!

This is the first time I have had the opportunity to watch the Live Chat walk-through and demo, which was a fascinating experience. This guided tour explained a lot more about the world - and in terms more relevant to players - than any marketing material could. For example, they pointed out that there are new water textures for the world, which really are gorgeous. And we also learn that the funny little pothole area near the poorest neighborhood was designed after the Salton Sea. 
The Salton Sea was an inland saltwater lake in California which was promoted as a hot tourist destination by certain unscrupulous real estate tycoons. Then the sea dried up and the houses were left high and dry, and the homeowners got left holding the bag. The Salton Sea area of Lucky Palms has fun little additions like abandoned pilings from an old pier. They really took a lot of care designing this world!

Sims 3 Premium Content: The Baby Swing

An in-game item so powerful, you might consider it cheating

Officially known as the "Solace Snugabunny Deluxe Baby Swing," the baby swing costs 500 SimPoints at the Sims 3 Store. That's $5 in real world money, and if you don't already have SimPoints in your account, you will have to spend $10 to get the smallest points bundle first. Is it worth the cost? Well, it depends… how much do you hate babies?

Personally, I can't stand babies. Sim babies, I mean. (Not that I'm a big fan of the real world kind, either.) All they do is cry, and if they cry too much, the social worker comes and takes them away. And juggling with triplets is all but impossible… someone is always crying, no one in the entire house gets any sleep, and it's basically three days of misery until the babies grow up.
Note: you can move this along by either buying birthday cakes, or using "testingcheats enabled true." For the cheat, shift + right-click on the baby, then choose "Trigger age transition."

Lunar Lakes: Bella Goth's final resting place!

Her gravestone exists in the Lunar Lakes graveyard

If you have been playing the Sims franchise for very long, you will no doubt have run into Bella Goth - either the legend, or the woman herself. Imagine my delight when, while checking out the aforementioned SUPER AWESOME sci-fi designed graveyard in Lunar Lakes, I found a headstone belonging to one Bella Goth!

Those of us who have been playing the Sims franchise since the beginning have many fond memories of Bella Goth. The Goth family was one of the most high-profile families in town in the Sims 1 days. Bella had elegant shoulder length black hair and wore a red dress. She was happily married to Mortimer Goth, and together they had a daughter, Cassandra. 

They lived in a wonderfully Munsters-like goth home, and many players (myself included) spent hundreds of hours shepherding them through their lives. (One of my favorite accomplishments is successfully navigating a spousal swap: Bella moved into the Newbie house and married Bob Newbie, and Betty Newbie moved into the Goth house and married Mortimer.)

Lunar Lakes: The Tree of Prosperity

This crystal tree is a valuable addition to the game.

One of the real benefits to buying Lunar Lakes is that you get the Tree of Prosperity. (You cannot currently buy the Tree of Prosperity separately in the Sim 3 store, although this may change in the future.) The Tree of Prosperity is a pretty crystal "tree" which changes color and shape throughout the day. Eating the fruit improves your Sim's skills, which is a great way to skill up!
To get the tree, you have to purchase it through Buy Mode. (i.e. it is not something that your Sim grows from seed in a garden.) The easiest way to find it is to click to sort items by room, choose Outdoor, and click "Outdoor Decorations." It costs $1,000 and can only be placed outside.

Lunar Lakes: First Impressions

This new world is on sale through June 20th

Having grown a little tired of Starlight Shores, I decided to move my Sims to Lunar Lakes. I resisted buying the new world for a long time - after all, it costs almost half the price of an expansion pack, but with no added gameplay. But eventually my curiosity got the better of me. 
Incidentally, if you want to buy Lunar Lakes, don't get tricked into buying $40 worth of Sims Store credits. Credits come in $10, $20, and $40 denominations, but Lunar Lakes costs $24.50 (on sale for only $18.50 now through June 20th [it literally went on sale the day after I bought it {grr}]). Just make two purchases: one for a $10 credit, and one for a $20 credit.

Sims 3 Supernatural Expansion Pack Confirmed

It sounds shiny!

Just a few days after the leak, EA has published a press release about the new Supernatural expansion pack. It looks like all of the rumors were correct, and then some! The expansion pack will be focused on magic (as you might suspect) and is scheduled for September, 2012. It will include werewolves, vampires, witches, warlocks, and fairies, along with a lot of fun magical items like a secret revolving bookshelf door.

The Sims 3 Supernatural Announce Trailer

Let's look at some of the stuff that caught my eye:
1. Editing supernatural creatures in Create-A-Sim (CAS)
This will be the first time that you can edit alternate life states in CAS! Previously, when your Sim became a werewolf or a vampire or a Plant Sim or a mummy, you had no control over how they looked. And you couldn't create your own alternate life state in CAS, you had to create a Sim and then go through the sometimes complex series of actions to get them "turned."

The Life of a Sims 3 Magician

One of three new careers in the Showtime expansion pack

After trying out all three new careers in the Showtime expansion pack (Magician, Acrobat, and Singer) I have settled on Magician as the most entertaining. The problem with being an Acrobat is that everyone hates mimes for a good reason: the mime thing is dumb. And a little bit creepy, if you ask me. It's too close to being a circus clown, and clowns frighten me. (P.S. why wasn't "clown" an option?)
The problem with a Sim who is a Singer is that you have to listen to them singing their songs over and over until the song itself bores straight into your skull. I used to have this problem with the University expansion pack for Sims 2: the mascot's cheer would ring in my head long after I had closed the game for the night. ("Girbits! Girbits! Voooooah, girbits!")
So: magician. Magician's not so bad. Neil Patrick Harris is an accomplished stage magician, and he's awesome, so there's that.

Next Sims 3 Expansion Pack: Supernatural

Rumor has it it will include fairies, witches, warlocks, werewolves AND zombies!

Once again, news of the next Sims 3 expansion pack has been leaked thanks to an Amazon partner who jumped the gun. I believe last time it was Amazon France which posted their listing early, but this time the blame falls to Amazon Italy. Last week a sharp-eyed Sims fan noticed a listing for "The Sims 3 Supernatural Edition" with a release date of September 7, 2012.
And now, according to some completely unsourced data on the Wikipedia page, we know that new life forms will include fairies, witches and warlocks, werewolves, and zombies. The new career will be Fortune Teller, and it will include a Harry Potter tie-in complete with spells, clothing, and a Harry Potter village, a downloadable Hogwarts. Apparently the expansion pack will also include amusement park items including carnivals, fairs, and amusement park rides. Yowza!